Sea Turtle Care Center Connects Children with Conservation Efforts
By Anna Marie Imbordino • Photos by Emily Cummings Photography
Growing issues surrounding coastal development paired with poor ocean conservation efforts have contributed to all seven species of sea turtles becoming threatened or endangered. To help ensure that sea turtles have a future in our oceans, the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center™ is rehabilitating sick and injured sea turtles and sharing conservation education with families in Charleston and beyond.
Queen, a loggerhead sea turtle, was found suffering from debilitated turtle syndrome by beachgoers on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, in June 2020. Queen was lethargic, covered in barnacles and emaciated when found by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources which then transported the turtle to the South Carolina Aquarium, in Charleston, for life-saving treatment. Now Queen is starting to thrive in her recovery tank and working toward healthy vitals to secure her release back to the wild. This is just one of the many sea turtles rescued and released yearly by the aquarium’s Sea Turtle Care Center™.
Families can walk through the recovery hospital experiencing the day-to-day medical care of the rescued turtles and learning about patient case stories. “We hope the Sea Turtle Care Center™ helps connect families with water and with wildlife, so they can fall in love with the natural world around them. And we want to help them learn the impact of their choices on wildlife and the ocean,” shares Amie Yam-Babinchak, Director of Marketing, Sales and Strategic Communications. The aquarium shows visiting families the impact of their choices on wildlife by helping them see and experience animals affected by climate changes or human interaction firsthand.
Families everywhere can experience the Sea Turtle Care Center™ from their own homes by logging onto the South Carolina Aquarium Facebook page Wednesdays at 10 a.m. EST for a live Turtle Talk hosted by aquarium biologists and spotlighting sea turtle patients. “You do not need to live near the beach or travel to the ocean to protect sea turtles and ocean habitats,” explains Sarah Hartmann, Education Interpreter Lead. “No matter where you are, your actions impact animals all over the world, and you can make a difference.”
To explore more about the Sea Turtle Care Center™ and conservation programming with the South Carolina Aquarium, visit scaquarium.org.
Anna Marie Imbordino is an award-winning writer, publicist and environmentalist
based in the Carolina Bay community of Charleston, SC.
Connect with her on social media by following @teawiththebee.
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